On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What the... wha?

From an email I received today:

Congratulations! Your past performance in the 2007-2009 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K and/or 2008-2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon qualifies you for Seeded Start Corral C (Wave 1) at the 2010 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K on March 21. For more information on the Wave Start and Start Corral qualifying standards click here.

I mean, that's all well and good, but... here's the thing.  I finished the Chicago Marathon (barely) in 6.5 hours.  As in, behind the last pace car.  I crossed the finish line and got a medal, but officially I didn't finish.

I'm as much of a sucker for a seeded start as the next person, and I do love the Shamrock Shuffle.  But how on earth did I earn a seeded start?

Oh... here's how:

Seeded Start Corral Qualifying Standards:
Corral Qual Standards 2010

Note: by finishing the Chicago Marathon, even unofficially, I automatically get into the first wave of runners.  No idea why they want to promote this race so badly when it's the second largest in the city (after the marathon), but if I were in Chicago, I'd do this.

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